Our NYU: February 2023
A Note from President Hamilton
I’m a sports fanatic through and through. And even when my beloved Steelers don’t go the distance, I still have ample opportunity to satisfy my fervor by following the athletics teams here at NYU—we have 23 varsity sports and more than 20 intramural sports. Although Division III teams, such as ours, will never get the same attention as our Division I counterparts, it doesn’t mean that our athletes don’t know how to rally or that we should feel any less proud. We have a number of teams in the top 10, including men’s and women’s fencing, swimming and diving, and women’s basketball.
Division III athletics exemplify the ideal of the scholar-athlete. We don’t award sports scholarships, nor does our Athletics Department designate students to be admitted. At NYU, students are admitted based on their academic credentials and accomplishments. Those who represent us in varsity sports sit right beside you in your physics class or your philosophy class or your dramatic writing class, live in our residence halls, eat beside us in our dining facilities. That’s a source of pride for us.
So you can imagine my immense delight last month when one of our alumni, Dr. Marsha Harris, was honored with the NCAA’s Silver Anniversary Award. Dr. Harris, a member of the NYU Athletics Hall of Fame, was a standout player on NYU’s 1997 NCAA Division III championship-winning team, scoring the last, game-winning shot in the final game with 1.5 seconds remaining—as exciting a finish as you will ever see on any basketball court.
Dr. Harris embodies what we mean by scholar-athlete. Graduating in 1998 as NYU’s all-time leading scorer with 2,140 points, she went on to medical school. A nationally lauded surgeon, she also serves as clinical assistant professor of surgery at NYU. It is a thrill to see our scholar-athletes excel in the classroom, on the court—and beyond in their careers.
And our current scholar-athletes continue to shine. Thirteen athletes earned College Sports Communicators Academic All-District honors this year for their performance as valuable teammates who also come through in the classroom. Forty-nine student-athletes earned University Athletic Association Fall All-Academic honors, and women’s volleyball team captain Haley Holz (STERN, TSOA ’23) received College Sports Communicators Academic All-America honors. Meanwhile, nine members of our men’s and women’s cross country teams earned US Track and Field Cross Country Coaches Association Academic All-America honors, also for upholding high academic standards while contributing on the field.
Dr. Harris and her successors epitomize the scholar-athlete and the pursuit of excellence in their chosen academic fields, and field of play. As we make our way to midterms, I encourage you to take a moment to summon your Violet pride and cheer on our student athletes!
I couldn’t send this out without taking note of the tragic earthquake affecting Turkey and Syria. It is a heartbreaking scene of devastation compounded by the season’s unforgiving weather. I urge you to open your hearts and be generous in any way you can to provide support to organizations that are helping the injured and displaced.